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The Sphinx and Turtle Rock

Southern Downs

Girraween National Park


Distance (kms):

7.1 kms

Time (hrs):

Allow 2.5 hrs

Elevation gain (m):

231 m

Max. elevation (m):

1,109 m

Difficulty (Grade):

Moderate (Grade 4)

Route type:





2WD Sufficient

Click to see full image.

A walk through bushland to two uniquely shaped rock formations – the Sphinx and Turtle Rock.

This moderately trafficked walk starts from the trailhead on Pyramids Road, across from the information centre. The start of this track is also the track to Castle Rock and Mount Norman.

The walk begins with a gradual ascent through open eucalypt forest, punctuated by granite boulders. There are a number of wooden and rocky steps along the path.

A particularly interesting rock formation, that looks somewhat like a peach on top of a row of teeth, marks where the track becomes steeper and rockier, and arguably even more beautiful.

Follow the signs for the Sphinx and hike along a ridge line (not exposed). There are a number of slabby sections where white markings must be followed.

At the sign for the Sphinx, head slightly off the track to the base, and marvel at the giant boulder resting atop the granite pillar, which resembles the famous Sphinx in Egypt.

The path continues further for obstructed views of Turtle Rock, so called as it resembles a turtle in its shell.

Track: Graded paths and white paint markings on slabby sections, the track is well-signed and easy to follow.

Difficulty: Although steep in parts, with a large number of steps, the track is suitable for most fitness levels with sufficient time.

Direction: This is an out-and-back track that returns the way it came.

getting there

The trailhead is located on Pyramids Road in Girraween, across from the information centre, 3.25 hours drive south-west of Brisbane. The trail can also be started from the trailhead in the Castle Rock camping Area.

Parking is ample for how trafficked the walk is.

best time to go

The walk can be completed year-round, however the track can be exposed to the sun in places and should be avoided during the hottest part of the day during warmer months.

Always check the Queensland Parks website for updates on track closures.

Click title on the map above to view larger map
in new window [on the Garmin website]

Remember, whenever venturing into the outdoors, practice the Leave No Trace principles and be considerate of others. This means: dispose of your waste properly, don't remove things or move things from their natural position and respect all wildlife. Also be sure to plan ahead and adequately prepare for any adventure. 

I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all activities listed on this website are found, as well as Elders past, present and emerging. I strive to not promote sites where requests have been made for people not to explore due to the cultural significance of the site to Indigenous peoples, or note how to respectfully visit a site. If I have a promoted a site with cultural significance, please send me a message and let me know.   

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